Our Society Has Been Shaming Moms For Centuries

Our Society Has Been Shaming Moms For Centuries

Most moms have experienced “mom guilt” or “mom shame” at some point in their children’s lives. On today’s podcast we talk about the very real, historical reasons why this happens, and about the long-running sentiment in the United States that a woman’s true job is to be a good mother. And now with the added pressures of measuring up on social media and taking care of your family in a pandemic, it’s no wonder so many moms feel inadequate. 

Our guest-host, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, is joined by Bethany Johnson and Dr. Maggie M. Quinlan for a fascinating conversation about the history of mom guilt in America. The pair co-wrote the book, You’re Doing It Wrong! Mothering, Media, and Medical Expertise and share some of the historical underpinnings of why so many mothers struggle with feelings of shame and guilt regarding their kids. 

Bethany L. Johnson (MPhil, M.A.) is a doctoral student in the history of science, technology and the environment at the University of South Carolina and a research affiliate faculty in the department of communication studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She studies how science, medical technology, and public health discourses are framed and reproduced by institutions and individuals with structural power from the 19th century to the present; specifically, she studies epidemics and reproductive health. She has published in interdisciplinary journals such as Health Communication, Women & Language, Departures in Critical Qualitative Research, Journal of Holistic Nursing, and Women’s Reproductive Health. 

Margaret M. Quinlan is a Professor of Communication Studies. Core Faculty Member of the Interdisciplinary Health Psychology Ph.D. Program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Dr. Quinlan is the Director of an Interdisciplinary Minor, Health/Medical Humanities. Dr. Quinlan has authored approximately 40 journal articles, 17 book chapters and co-produced documentaries in a regional Emmy award-winning series (National Distribution with PBS and available on Amazon).

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This episode is sponsored by Landmark College in Putney, Vermont.  It’s the college for students who learn differently! Landmark offers comprehensive supports for students with ADHD and other learning differences, both on campus and online. Learn more HERE!

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It’s Not What Happens to You, It’s How You React that Matters

It’s Not What Happens to You, It’s How You React that Matters

Finding happiness (or just being happy) while living through a pandemic can be challenging, even on a good day. Fortunately, Dr. H has some thoughts on how to find happy moments regardless of your situation.

He shares one of his favorite stories about the philosopher Epictetus that just might be what you need to hear to change your mindset. It’s a story he’s shared on the podcast before, but as Dr. H reminds us in this episode it’s important to, “find ways to direct your mind toward satisfying thoughts, ideas and activities, and away from the places of misery and complaint.” 

Get a copy of Dr. H’s newest book, ADHD 2.0 at DrHallowell.com or by clicking HERE. You can also find it wherever books are sold!  

If you have a question or comment you’d like us to address in a future episode reach out to us! Write an email or record a voice memo and send it to [email protected].  

Check out our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness! Distraction listeners SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Distraction at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Learn what it’s like to be a student at Landmark College during their Virtual Open House on March 19th! Register HERE. Landmark College in Putney, Vermont is the college of choice for students who learn differently. 

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson and our producer is Sarah Guertin.

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The Mental Health and Addiction Consequences of Covid

The Mental Health and Addiction Consequences of Covid

Dr. Lloyd Sederer became the mental health commissioner of New York City right after the 9/11 terror attack. In this conversation he shares how the lessons he learned from that experience can be applied to the current pandemic, including the impact social isolation, treatment gaps and treatment inequities have on the public, and the disproportionate affect on people of color. 

This broad conversation also touches on how adding structure to your day helps you feel better, the latest treatments for substance use disorders, and why Dr. Sederer believes humans are extremely resilient.

Dr. Lloyd Sederer is an Adjunct Professor at the Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health and Director of Columbia Psychiatry Media. He served for 12 years as the Chief Medical Officer of the New York State Office of Mental Health, where he continues as Distinguished Psychiatrist Advisor. He has been Executive Deputy Commissioner for Mental Hygiene Services in New York City (the “chief” psychiatrist for NYC), Medical Director and Executive Vice President of McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA (a Harvard teaching hospital), and Director of the Division of Clinical Services for the American Psychiatric Association. He has led the mental health disaster responses to 9/11, Hurricane Sandy and other disasters.

You can learn more about Dr. Sederer or get a copy of his book, Ink Stained for Life, on his website: Ask Dr. Lloyd

If you have a question or comment for Dr. Hallowell reach out to us! Write an email or record a voice memo and send it to [email protected].  

Ned’s new book is out now! Get a copy of ADHD 2.0 at DrHallowell.com or by clicking HERE. You can also find it wherever books are sold!  

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness! Distraction listeners SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Distraction at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson and our producer is Sarah Guertin.

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2 Ways to Overcome Burnout

2 Ways to Overcome Burnout

The new year has brought some change, but life still feels a bit like Groundhog Day for many. Ned offers a couple of techniques you can employ to deal with feelings of overwhelm, burnout and the “sameness” of daily life right now. 

If you have a question or comment about the podcast reach out to us! Write an email or record a voice memo and send it to [email protected].  

Ned’s NEW BOOK is out now! Get a copy of ADHD 2.0 at DrHallowell.com or by clicking HERE. You can also find it wherever books are sold!  

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness! Distraction listeners SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020 at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson and our producer is Sarah Guertin.

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Ned’s Short List of Good Distractions

Ned’s Short List of Good Distractions

Pandemic-life these days can be quite stressful, so finding ways to give your brain a break is key to maintaining a healthy balance. Our host shares a few of the things he’s been doing to take his mind off of the pandemic, politics and other upsetting topics in this week’s mini Distraction.

Reach out to us with your comments, questions and show ideas! Send us an email, or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected]

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness! Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

This episode was originally released in July of 2020. 

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode can be found below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

This episode of Distraction is sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

This is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini episode of Distraction. During the pandemic, each week, we do a mini episode that touches in some way upon this phenomenon that we’ve all been living within and today’s is going to be a lighthearted one. I want to talk about things that I have been doing myself to divert me from the perils of the day, to take my mind off of the pandemic, politics and other upsetting topics. I just thought I’d go down the list of what I’ve done either alone or with family members, not an exhaustive list, of course, but just a few things that came trippingly to my tongue or instantly to my mind.

One thing, I have been binge watching Schitt’s Creek. Now, if you’ve never seen Schitt’s Creek, it is funny. I really recommend it to you. My wife started watching it and she described it to me and I said, “I don’t think that sounds good.” It is terrific. It is uproariously funny. It is so, so, so, so funny. If you don’t find the show funny, something’s happened to your funny bone. Just thinking about it, with Eugene Levy, with the big eyebrows, it’s just hysterically funny.

I also made a purchase while waiting in line because we have to wait in line to get into certain stores, and the line outside of Whole Foods happens to have a bunch of hanging flowers for sale. So I bought two of these hanging flower pots, one predominant color pink, the other predominant color violet, and I hung them from hooks on our front porch. Now, when you buy hanging flower pots, you have to water the flowers. So that’s what I’ve been doing each day, and in order to water the flowers, I’m not quite tall enough to reach the watering can up. So I bought a little step stool. So I have my step stool on the porch, along with my watering can and I get up there every day or every other day and water these flowers. I’m telling you, it’s really rewarding to see them flourish and grow and they’re bushier, and hanging downer more, and just lovely to behold.

Also, someone left us a pot of pansies as sort of a gift during this time and I’ve been watering that as well and they are just flourishing. My gosh, there were a few stray strands of pansy in the original. Now it’s just like a pansy bush. So we’ve got the blue pansies, the violet flowers, the pink flowers and the porch, it just lifts my spirits. I also wrote a letter to David Brooks, the columnist in the New York Times. He wrote a column on Friday, the 26th, about five problems that we’re dealing with that I just thought it was a wonderful column.

I’ve also been cooking. I go online and I look for recipes and there’s a gazillion recipes online. They’ll have 32 ways of turning ground meat into a meal or 17 side dishes for the 4th of July, and I love these and I go download them, I print them out and next thing you know, I’m cooking them up. Like tomorrow, I’m going to make a vegetable chicken stew in the crackpot. Tuesdays is my day to make dinner, so I’ll put it in in the morning, and by the time evening rolls around, we’ll have this yummy, delicious stew. Online recipe shopping is another activity that I highly recommend.

Play with a dog. We’re lucky because my daughter is here and with her comes her a little Chiweenie named Layla. As you know, I think dogs are God’s greatest creation. Been playing with Layla every chance I get. Then when my son brings over his dog, Max, we had to play with both dogs and out in the backyard, the two of them rushing around.

Then one final thing I got for my daughter, because she really wanted this, a inflatable pool, above ground obviously, that it’s big enough for her to put a inflatable raft in it so she can lie in the sun, in the water, on the water and to see the smile on her face, when this thing arrived. It didn’t cost a huge amount. It was $300. I know that’s not nothing, but it was affordable and it was joy, joy, joy, joy. This is all along the lines of specializing. That’s my term for making the ordinary extraordinary. Turning what’s a dismal situation into one that’s a playful, fun, rewarding, interesting, engaging.

So that’s my little list. Binge-watched Schitt’s Creek, water the hanging flowers, write a letter to David Brooks, cook up new stuff, play with the dog and get something special for your daughter, in my case, it was this inflatable pool. Let’s try to do these things for one another. Let’s try to stay connected, even though we have to keep our distance. Let’s try to bring each other messages and vibes of goodwill, of joy, of understanding, of harmony. Let’s try to get along.

Okay, before I say goodbye, I’d like to remind you to check out OmegaBrite CBD. I’ve been taking the CBD supplement myself for nearly three months and I have noticed it’s definitely helping with my feelings of irritability and random anxiety. You can get OmegaBrite CBD online at omegabritewellness.com. That’s O-M-E-G-A-B-R-I-T-E-wellness.com, Brite intentionally misspelled. They have a deal for Distraction listeners right now as well. You’ll save 20% off your first order when you use the promo code podcast 2020. That’s podcast 2020. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works.

Please continue to connect with us. Share your thoughts, questions, and show ideas by emailing us at [email protected]. That’s [email protected] Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the multi-talented and several voice levels, Sarah Guertin. I am Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thank you so very much for joining our community and listening to our podcast.

The episode of Distraction you just heard was sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

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A Simple Way to Reduce Toxic Stress

A Simple Way to Reduce Toxic Stress

Science shows that prolonged periods of stress can damage our bodies in many ways including heart disease, diabetes, depression and substance abuse. The pandemic has created the perfect storm for stress so it’s critical to our long term health and wellbeing that we find ways to reduce it.

Dr. Carol Locke of OmegaBrite Wellness (a sponsor of this podcast) shares some of the scientific research behind how and why omega-3 fatty acids work to reduce stress in our bodies on a cellular level. She and Ned talk about what foods you can eat to increase your daily intake of omega-3s, and how much you need to consume in order to see results.

Do you have a question or guest suggestion? Send an email with your thoughts to [email protected].

Dr. Hallowell’s new book, ADHD 2.0, comes out January 12th. Pre-order Now!  Click here to pre-order your copy of ADHD 2.0.

Check out #NedTalks on TikTok! @drhallowell

Thanks to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness!

OmegaBrite is extending their special offer to an additional 250 Distraction listeners who respond to the offer below!

Buy one bottle of 70/10 MD Omega-3, and get a FREE bottle of CBD Full Spectrum 25mg Softgels with the promo code: NED. You’ll get FREE shipping too! These are the same supplements that Dr. H takes every day.

Just enter the code: NED after adding the Omega-3 to your cart and the FREE bottle of CBD and FREE shipping will be automatically applied.

Click HERE to learn more about our other amazing sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently!

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode is sponsored by OmegaBrite Wellness. Get a free bottle of OmegaBrite CBD Full-Spectrum Softgels with free shipping when you buy one bottle of their 70/10 MD Omega-3. Use offer code Ned. That’s my name Ned at omegabritewellness.com Distraction is also sponsored by Landmark College in Putney, Vermont, the college of choice for students who learn differently. Learn more at lcdistraction.org. Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell for Distraction. Thank you so much for joining me today. I’m very pleased to welcome back my good friend, Dr. Carol Locke. Carol is the founder of OmegaBrite Wellness, a sponsor of this podcast. And she’s joining me today to talk about how all of us can reduce anxiety and feel less stressed in our daily lives. Wouldn’t that be nice? Thank you so much for joining me today, Carol.

Dr. Carol Locke:
Hi, Ned. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Oh, that’s wonderful. So you’ve been making this wonderful product for a number of years and it’s made an impact. Tell me if I’m wrong, is that it reduces inflammation, is that correct?

Dr. Carol Locke:
It reduces inflammation and it concurrently reduces anxiety and improves people’s mood and reduces stress. So those are the main components of how it seems to be working in people and providing benefit in daily life.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And why is it important to reduce inflammation?

Dr. Carol Locke:
Inflammation is a natural response and it’s a positive response when it’s short term and in response to an injury, some kind of assault in our body and ourselves that we need our ourselves to respond to. But when it’s long-term and it’s unopposed, it causes damage to ourselves. It causes damage to our heart, to our blood vessels, to our brain. It increases your risk of cancer. It causes a whole variety of damage that we need to find ways to reduce, to be healthy and to protect our health. Particularly right now, with the pandemic causing such stress.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Now, when you use the term stress and anxiety, how would you define those and how does omega-3 fatty acids reduce them?

Dr. Carol Locke:
Well, with stress, what I’m talking about is the physiological stress that we have when we’re faced with long-term unrelenting threats, such as the pandemic and that as you know, activates amygdala. And short-term stress actually improves your longevity, but long-term stress can become toxic.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So what is stress? We use that word all the time.

Dr. Carol Locke:
I’m talking about the elevated levels of our stress hormones in our bodies, cortisol level, and that comes and attacks all the different cells in our body. It affects our brain and affects our mood, our neuro-transmitters, it affects amygdala, can cause long-term damage in the amygdala and in our ability to [crosstalk 00:03:36]-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Not everyone listening knows what the amygdala is.

Dr. Carol Locke:
So the amygdala is kind of like the supercomputer center in our brain of stress management. When we perceive a threat through our senses, the amygdala is activated and that puts us on alert. It increases our heart rate, our blood flow. It increases our cortisol levels through hypothalamus pituitary and adrenal cortical system. So that is our stress response.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So what’s the difference between good stress and bad stress?

Dr. Carol Locke:
Good stress is stress that you can manage, is short-term, it’s something that your body addresses and your being addresses, manages and then it resolve. So that whole system with your stress hormones turns off and slows down. When it’s bad stress is when it doesn’t resolve. When you stay on that alert, fear response, and you have an ongoing threat and you can’t turn it down, or master it or regulate it. That creates in your body, a continual level of physiological stress from your cortisol system, driving it and affecting all of your cells, all of your organs. And that’s what we want with this pandemic to manage and interrupt in whatever ways we can.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And how soon do you feel the effects after you take an Omega-3? Is it instant or does it need to build up in your system?

Dr. Carol Locke:
It needs time to build up. The Omega-3 is that I’m talking about are high EPA Omega-3s, and that takes time for your body to absorb and then to affect your cells and adjust your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, which affects your inflammation level. So the studies that I’m referring to are done by Ohio State, one is on reducing anxiety in medical students and inflammation. And that was a 12 week study with 68 students, double-blind, placebo control funded by the NIH. And that study found that there was a 20% reduction in anxiety and a 14% reduction in inflammatory cytokine IL-6, from taking the high dose EPA omega-3. So that was a very interesting thing that where you see the mind-body merge, where as an anxieties reduce, you’re also reducing inflammation. So people who experience such stress is often with heightened anxiety. And here’s one way that study has shown in healthy medical students without an anxiety disorder, that omega-3 can reduce both the inflammation and anxiety.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Are all omega-3 products the same?

Dr. Carol Locke:
No. They’re different in the amounts of EPA and DHA they contain, which are from marine molecules, or you can get a plant plate based on omega-3, which is a shorter chain, an 18 chain ALA. So they’re very different and they’re different in the amounts of each omega-3 that they contain. So a typical omega-3 contains fairly equal amounts of EPA and DHA. And doesn’t contain a high concentration or a high EPA? This study was done with a high APA omega-3, and those findings were confirmed in another study we did with 138 healthy middle-aged and older adults over four months. And what they found was that over four months in a placebo controlled, double-blind study, that on that high EPA omega-3, they had a 10% and 12% reduction in their inflammatory cytokines. So again, you’re seeing that you can reduce the actual inflammation level in your body with a high EPA omega-3 and that’s very powerful in it’s health consequences.

Dr. Carol Locke:
It can be both protective and it can help with ongoing disease. And again, coming back to what people are facing right now, with the high level of stress, which activates that amygdala in our body’s stress response with high levels of cortisol and corresponding higher inflammation. These are ways that you can use an omega-3 to decrease the inflammation and decrease the anxiety and the stress that your body is experiencing. And if you want to add that to the toolbox that we know with sleep, with exercise, with connection, with mindfulness, ways to manage the stress we face and reduce inflammation.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
For you listening, if you’d like to get Carol’s product, which is the kind that I recommend, you can get a free bottle of OmegaBrite CBD Full-Spectrum Softgels with free shipping. When you buy one bottle of their 70/10 MD omega-3 use the code offer my name, Ned at omegabritewellness.com and get a free bottle of OmegaBrite CBD Full-Spectrum Softgels, which I take every day. And I’m very glad I did. And my wife does as well. What are the best foods to eat to increase your intake of omega-3s, aside from your supplement, OmegaBrite or other supplements.

Dr. Carol Locke:
You want to try to take cold water fatty fish, and that’s mackerel, tuna, herring, sardines, salmon. You want to be careful with your larger fish because they can contain mercury that an omega-3 supplement doesn’t. The smaller fish are small on the food chain and they don’t contain very much mercury. So sardines and macro are very good. Salmon, you want to make sure that it’s not farm raised salmon raised on corn, because then it will be an omega-6 fish, and that won’t help. For the shorter chain, the 18 chain omega-3, you can have nuts and seeds, flax seeds, chia like in your chia pet, walnuts, plant oils. You can also get omega-3s in a lot of fortified foods, margarine milks, eggs, often have omega-3 added, infant formula does, soy beverages and your free range animals.

Dr. Carol Locke:
So if you get grass fed beef that will have higher and make a three, then grain fed, same with poultry. So those are ways to add it to your diet, which are important for your body’s health. It’s hard to get that level of EPA from diet, from food that you want to get some of the mood and anxiety and inflammation reduction.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I want to recommend to you Landmark College. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently. Go to lcdistraction.org to learn more that’s LC for Landmark College, distraction.org to learn more. It’s a really wonderful special place in beautiful Putney, Vermont, it’s bucolic. But what goes on there is unique. It is a truly specialized learning environment for people who have the conditions I’ve got, ADHD and dyslexia for us to learn how best to acquire knowledge and also to express our own ideas. It’s a marvelously talented sympathetic lively faculty. The courses are rigorous, but also wonderfully forgiving if you have one of these conditions. Please, go to Landmark College, lcdistraction.org to learn more and feed yourself with the banquet you’ll find there. Okay, let’s get back to the show. And how much omega-3 does a person need to eat or ingest or some other way to get into their bodies to see results?

Dr. Carol Locke:
For the results of reducing the anxiety that was with the six capsules a day. With the reduction of inflammation in the middle age and older adults, that was either two to three softgels a day cause a 10% reduction in inflammatory molecules or five, six cups a day cause a 12% reduction. So people can really start on say, three capsules a day, see how they feel and adjust upward to see where they feel the best benefit is.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
When I started I’d take six capsules. When I started, I don’t know how many years ago it was that you turned me onto this. But typical me, I wanted to use myself as my own experimental animal. So I kept increasing the dose. And when I got up to 15 capsules a day, I started to have nosebleeds. So I guess, omega doses, it can interfere with clotting.

Dr. Carol Locke:
Yeah. I think you’re not supposed to go above three grams a day. So that would be above three grams a day.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
15 would be like 10 grams or 12 grams or?

Dr. Carol Locke:
Yeah. So you don’t want to go above three a day. I think a lot of people do very well with 2.5 grams a day of the OmegaBrite. A lot of the studies on inflammation and neuroprotection are recommending at least two grams a day. So it depends with-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So four to six capsules a day of your [inaudible 00:14:21].

Dr. Carol Locke:
Yeah. And I think from our experience, people report benefit in that range. They definitely feel-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
My experience has been that they underdiagnosed, they take one capsule and I think that’s enough.

Dr. Carol Locke:
Right. And then they say, “I don’t feel anything.” Because most people, when they take an omega-3 don’t feel anything. But when you take the high concentrate and you take four to six, then people begin to feel a response. It takes a couple of weeks, but it can add tremendous benefit.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. And it’s easy thing to do. By the way, we keep our capsules in our freezer. Is there any reason to do that? Or can you store them wherever you want?

Dr. Carol Locke:
You can store them wherever you want. We recommend a dark place, a not hot dark place, a cupboard, a lot of people prefer to keep it in the refrigerator. The freezer, you actually have to be careful with because the capsule, the gelatin can fracture in a freezing condition. So keeping in the-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So we should put it in the fridge instead of, okay.

Dr. Carol Locke:
Yeah, I would recommend that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
In the refrigerator, not the freezer.

Dr. Carol Locke:
Right. Either a dark cabinet or the refrigerator.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay. Thank you. I’m glad I asked. I always pick up something from you, Carol. You’re amazing. Well, it’s an amazingly good product. Carol, won’t toot her own horn, but she’s been doing this for more than 20 years. She’s a graduate of Harvard Medical School. She’s about the most careful, responsible person in this field that I know, not about though. She is the most careful and responsible and always learning, always studying, always keeping up. That’s why I’m proud to have her sponsor our podcast. Okay. Thank you again, Carol. That’s all the time we have for today. My thanks to my dear friend and learned colleague, Dr. Carol Locke, that’s L-O-C-K-E, for joining me. If you’d like to learn more about omega-3s and how they can help you reduce anxiety as well as improved sense of wellbeing and reduce inflammation and overall health, go to omegabritewellness.com and that’s Brite spelled B-R-I-T-E, omegabritewellness.com.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And here’s a heads up, my new book, ADHD 2.0 is coming out on January 12th. It’s co-written with my buddy John Ratey, and we lay out a revolutionary new approach featuring new science and strategies to help people with ADD, ADHD thrive. And we certainly mentioned omega-3 fatty acids in the book. You can learn more about ADHD, 2.0, and pre-order a copy, which I wish you would do by clicking the link in the show notes, or by going to my website at drhallowell.com or of course, to the ever gracious and generous Amazon. Okay. Remember to follow Distraction on social media and please reach out to us, email us at Connect, [email protected] Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. The podcast is recorded and mixed by Scott Persson, the ever talented Scott Persson. And our producer is the abundantly talented Sarah Guertin. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell, thanking Dr. Carol Locke and all of you, thanks so much for listening. (singing)

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The episode you just heard, just now heard was made possible by my good friends at OmegaBrite Wellness. Get a free bottle of OmegaBrite CBD Full-Spectrum Softgels with free shipping when you buy one bottle of their 70/10 MD omega-3. Use offer code Ned, that’s my name at omegabritewellness.com

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The Benefits of Using a Body Double with How to ADHD and Landmark College

The Benefits of Using a Body Double with How to ADHD and Landmark College

Getting homework and other tasks done remains difficult for many of us as we continue to study and work from home. Jessica McCabe of How to ADHD explains how using a “body double” can help hold you accountable. Jessica talks about how she uses this simple technique to help stay on track in this special episode sponsored by Landmark College in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently!

Check out Jessica’s ADHD videos at HowtoADHD.

Share your thoughts with us! How have you been adapting to learning from home?  Write an email or record a voice memo and send it to [email protected]

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our audio engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Do you know a student with ADHD or other learning difference looking for a higher education experience? Tell them about our amazing sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. Learn more HERE.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello and welcome to Distraction. I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thank you so much as always for joining me. We love our audience and we wish you’d tell our friends about us because we love reaching out to you and sharing the wonderful information as well as good cheer we hope that we do share. This episode is made possible by our wonderful sponsor Landmark College, the college of choice for students like me who learn differently. Joining me today once again is our favorite guests, the lovely, talented, amazingly triumphant in so many ways, Jessica McCabe, from How to ADHD. Jessica, I know you have an idea of what you’d like to talk about. You always do. So I don’t want to get in your way. Let me stand aside and welcome the so very talented Jessica McCabe.

Jessica McCabe:
Thank you for that incredible introduction. Yeah. I wanted to talk about body doubling today, because a lot of us are learning from home and things are even more challenging than maybe they usually are. There’s some great, great advantages to learning from home, or if you’re learning on campus, being by yourself when you’re studying or trying to take a course. Online courses can be great. They can also be really difficult because we don’t get enough accountability. We don’t have anybody else around. We’re not getting the cues that it’s time to work, that it’s time to focus the same way that you do, say you’re in the library and everybody else around you is studying. So you’re like, okay, cool. There’s that social pressure to study that we might not be getting when we’re at home. At home, we’re maybe getting pressured by things like the X-Box that keeps taunting us and being like, do you really need to study?

Jessica McCabe:
So one of the best things you can do is to use a body double. A body double in Hollywood means something very differently than what I’m talking about. In Hollywood, a body double means somebody who looks like you, who looks like the actor who fills in for the actor, maybe does some stunts or whatever, but is there so the actor doesn’t have to do the thing. If we have a body double when we have ADHD, we still have to do the thing. We just have somebody else in the room with us is really what it is. It’s somebody to sit quietly with you while you work. Maybe they are studying the same thing as you, maybe they’re studying something else, maybe they’re doing a completely different task, but the idea is you sit in silence and you have somebody else present.

Jessica McCabe:
And for those with ADHD, that can be really important because it can be so hard for us to stay focused and on task. The attention regulation is a part of our condition and our brains go so quickly that if we see a cue to do something else, we’re quick off and running, doing that thing before we realize, wait, I was supposed to be working on something else. So a body double can help with that. It can also help give us some emotional support to be honest, because there’s some tasks that we build this, as Brendan Mahan from ADHD Essentials puts it, a wall of awful around. We have struggled to do this seemingly simple tasks so many times, and we’ve failed at it in the past that there’s a lot of emotion that we have to get past to be able to start doing the thing.

Jessica McCabe:
And so just having somebody else there can be this emotional support as well in that way. It’s like that for me with paying bills. Opening and paying bills is one of the most difficult things in the world. It’s not that it’s hard technically. I do a lot more challenging things with a lot more ease because I just don’t have that same level of dread, of opening thing. And it’s a boring task and I’ve failed at it before and I’ve ruined my credit and there’s just so much around it that just having my boyfriend sit next to me while I do it is enough for me to be able to tackle that task. Otherwise, I’m going to put it off for forever and ruin my credit again. So knowing what tasks you could use a little extra support for, one thing to ask yourself is would this activity be easier if somebody else was in the room?

Jessica McCabe:
Another great thing about doing it is if you set it up ahead of time, it’s like an appointment. We tend to respect appointments more than we do saying, “Oh yeah, I’m going to totally play guitar today.” We’re not going to respect that as much as we have a performance day, somebody is expecting us to show up and perform for them. Body doubling is something in the middle, where somebody else will notice if you don’t do the thing and you’ve blocked out time for it. The way to find a body double, if this is something that sounds like it might be helpful for you, is there’s several ways. You can ask a friend and it can feel weird to be like, “Hey, can you sit with me while I do this thing so that I do this thing?” But you’d be surprised at how many people it benefits, how many other people are struggling with it, too. Because difficulty focusing isn’t unique to ADHD. It’s a part of a lot of other conditions as well, including sometimes the human condition.

Jessica McCabe:
So it’s beneficial, not just to you, but to the other person too, because you can be like, “Hey, is there something you’ve been putting off that you need help with making sure that you do? Cool. I’m struggling to do this. Let’s sit together and just put ourselves on mute and work in silence.” You can do it over Zoom. You don’t have to be in the same room. You can do it online. There’s also a website if you don’t know anybody that might be willing to do this with you. There’s a website called focusmate.com, where you can set it up. I think you get three sessions a week for free. And you can say, “Hey, at this time I need a partner. I’m going to be working on this. They’re going to be working on this.” And then you just sit in silence and work together.

Jessica McCabe:
If it is a friend, I do recommend having a distinction between when it’s time to talk and hang out and when it’s time to work. The Pomodoro Technique can work great for this where you set a timer for 25 minutes and then when the 25 minutes is up, cool, now we get to talk for five minutes. But then when that 25 minutes starts again, now we’re doing our work. Because otherwise, you’d set up a body doubling session and then you just end up talking to your friend for the entire hour. And there are certain people that it might be hard to do that with. If it’s somebody you haven’t seen in a long time, it might really hard to stop and study when what you actually really want to do is just catch up on everything that you’ve missed.

Jessica McCabe:
So it’s good to know yourself, know what tasks a body double might be helpful for, know who does and doesn’t work for you as a body double. And if you are being a body double for somebody else, recognize it’s not your job to make sure that they get their work done. You’re not there to lay down the law or anything. You don’t have to keep nagging them to do it. That’s their job. You’re just there to provide a gentle nonjudgmental presence, really. That’s pretty much all I got. Do you have any questions?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
No. It’s such a great idea. Don’t you think a dog can also function as a body double?

Jessica McCabe:
Yeah. In a way they can, which is really interesting. I read once that sometimes they actually bring dogs in to classrooms to help kids with dyslexia who are struggling to read, who maybe feel self-conscious about doing it in front of other people. They’ll have them sit and read to a dog to get the practice, because that dog is not going to be judge-y. That dog is going to be absolutely welcoming. And my dog actually does serve as a body double for me while I’m at work. Part of what I’ve trained her to do is when I’m at work, she comes and hangs out with me and she sleeps or whatever, but I see her sleeping and I know it’s time to work, because at some point she’s going to wake up and need to be taken for a walk. At some point, she’s going to want to play with me. And so while she’s sleeping is a great time for me to sit down and focus.

Jessica McCabe:
So yeah, dogs can make a great body double. And sometimes people who don’t even know they’re being a body double can be a body double. For me, a great body double that I don’t need silence for is if I need to clean up, if I need to clean my room or something, if I’m on the phone with somebody, I’ll start cleaning my room, because usually it’s a horribly boring tasks that I don’t want to do for longer than three minutes. But if I’m talking to somebody, I’m distracted enough that I can clean my room without getting terribly bored. And so they end up keeping me company while I’m doing something that otherwise I wouldn’t do. And so you can do that even if they don’t know they’re being a body double as well.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Music can serve that function. Plants can serve that function. There are ways that you can feel input that allow you to do tedious tasks.

Jessica McCabe:
Yeah, that’s true. I think the key with body doubling is basically just knowing that someone will notice for the most part, generally speaking, someone will notice if you’re not doing the thing. Somebody knows what you’re supposed to be working on. And when you see that person, it acts as a reminder of what you’re supposed to be working on. And so you can set up other cues for yourself, too. When I put on this certain music playlist, I know it’s time to study. And if you get distracted and then you realize what’s playing, that’s a cue, that’s a reminder, oh right, I’m supposed to be studying. The same way that a body double in person can, you look at them and you’re like, all right, I’m supposed to be working on this thing. So there’s a lot of different ways to set up cues, but body doubles can be a great way to give yourself the cues that it’s time to work on what you’re supposed to be working, as well as that sense of positive feedback, I guess.

Jessica McCabe:
Even if they don’t say anything, you know that they’re seeing that you’re working. And so then that feels good. And you can set up at the beginning of the session, “Hey, this is what I’m going to be working on. This is what you’re going to be working on.” And at the end of the session, you can say, “This is what I got done.” So then you get a little bit of, I get to feel good. Somebody got to notice that I did the thing.” And that could be [crosstalk 00:09:20].

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I think it’s also, Jessica, the force of what I call the other vitamin C, vitamin connect. And I think just having a human in the room fortifies you, strengthens you, reduces your fear, makes you feel more in control. Particularly these days we’re living with such disconnection. When you have a person there, aside from the fact that they’re watching or what have you, I think just the force field that emanates between two people, we know, it’s a scientific fact how powerful it is. And when there’s no one there, social isolation, most people don’t realize this, but social isolation is as dangerous for your health as cigarette smoking.

Jessica McCabe:
Yeah. It can be a great way to give yourself a little connection as well. One other thing that I do with body doubling is I have trouble stopping work on time. And so my boyfriend and I started doing this thing where one of us picks the other one up from work, quote, unquote, we’re in different rooms, but we’ll pick each other up and then we’ll walk around and spend time together.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s great.

Jessica McCabe:
And so we’re getting body doubling, because we’re both making sure that we get exercise, we’re making sure that we get outside. We’re making sure that we stop working. And that peer pressure and that connection that we get is really wonderful, because it makes it so that we get the things done that we want to get done. We get the connection we need, we get the walk, we get the exercise, which can be so important for ADHD. And it makes it easier. It really does. It just makes it easier to have somebody else be there with you when you do it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, as always, you are a treasure trove of wisdom and gems, always put in such a charming and pleasant way. That’s it for us today. You can learn more about Jessica McCabe at her website, Howtoadhd.com. And if you would like to support her work, she has this wonderful way that you can do it. You go to the website called Patreon, P-A-T-R-E-O-N, like a sponsor. Patreon.com/howtoadhd. Go to Patreon.com/howtoadhd. That’s a wonderful way to support Jessica’s work and other people who need that kind of help.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And if you’re someone who learns differently like me, like Jessica, please check out our sponsor [email protected] That’s [email protected], Landmark College in beautiful Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And please remember, reach out to us with your questions and comments. We thrive on them. We need them, by sending an email or a voice memo to [email protected] That’s [email protected] And remember to subscribe to Distraction wherever you get your podcasts. And if you’re on Apple Podcasts, please leave us a review. We love getting reviews. That really helps the show.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I’m also now on Tik Tok. You can go to Tik Tok and find me with the username @Drhallowell. That’s @d-r, no period. Just @d-r-h-a-l-l-o-w-e-l-l. Please let me know what you think.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer and editor is the extremely talented Scott Person. And our producer is the equally extremely talented Sarah Gurton. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell thanking you all and Jessica McCabe. Look forward to seeing you next time. Bye for now.

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Strategies for Successfully Working From Home with ADHD

Strategies for Successfully Working From Home with ADHD

Being prepared and developing routines are key to staying organized and being productive if you have ADHD and are working from home. Our go-to productivity expert and ADHD coach, Kristin Seymour, offers a ton of simple life hacks you can utilize to help you stay on track in your job and increase your overall happiness.

Kristin’s website is ADHDFogLifted.com. Get her book and her resource binder!

Pre-order Ned’s new book, ADHD 2.0 on Amazon.

Check out Dr. H on TikTok! @drhallowell

Thanks to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness! Dr. H takes OmegaBrite supplements every day and that’s why he invited them to sponsor his podcast. SAVE 20% on your first order at OmegaBriteWellness.com with the promo code: Podcast2020.

Click HERE to learn more about our sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently. Dr. H has an honorary degree from Landmark!

What’s your opinion? Send an email with your thoughts to [email protected].

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode is made possible by our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness. I’ve taken their Omega-3 supplements for many years, and so has my wife, and that’s why I invited them to sponsor my podcast. I’m proud to have them. You can find all of their products online at omegabritewellness.com… and brite is intentionally misspelled B-R-I-T-E… omegabritewellness.com

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode is also sponsored by Landmark College, another institution that I have warm personal relationship with, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently. Learn more at lcdistraction.org.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello, and welcome to Distraction. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell, your host. So glad you’re with us once again. Today, we have one of my favorite… and I can say our favorite… guests. I can’t remember how many times she’s been on the podcast, but more than twice. She’s a remarkable woman. She’s one of those people who just gets it when it comes to ADHD. There are experts and then there are people who get it and she is, yes, an expert, but she also gets it. That just means when you’re with her, if you have ADHD, you feel understood. For a lot of people, particularly adults, they almost never have that feeling of being understood without being marked down, without being judged negatively. They feel understood, appreciated, and it’s just being with her, for many adults, is in and of itself pretty much all the therapy they need.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
In terms of credentials, she’s got them all. She’s a board certified clinical nurse specialist. She works with cardiology patients at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. She also is an author. She wrote a wonderful book called The Fog Lifted: A Clinician’s Victorious Journey with ADHD. I highly recommend it. The Fog Lifted. She works with ADHD kids and their families, as well as adults. She consults to businesses, hospitals. You just can’t slow her down. Of course, she has ADHD herself, as she’s the first to tell you, and she’s just a tremendous gift to this world with her energy, her knowledge, her expertise, her empathy, and her undying devotion to all the people she serves, which is quite a few people. I can tell you, I’ve called her on a Sunday and she’ll say to me, “I can’t talk long. I’ve got another client coming in.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I don’t think she ever stops working. In addition, she’s married to a wonderful man and has two of the best daughters you could ever find.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Welcome, Kristin Seymour, MSN, RN, AHCNS-B.

Kristin Seymour:
Thank you, Ned. Thank you for your kind introduction and kind words. I most appreciate it and your support over the years. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, it’s a treat for me and our audience to have you. Now, we are going to get into a topic that you proposed because you’ve been seeing it a lot, and one that we have not really covered on the podcast. Why don’t you tell us about it.

Kristin Seymour:
Okay. What I have been working with, with countless of my adult patients in the past several months, is the reality of the overnight shift for the ADHD employee to go from an office setting or work setting outside the home, instantly to a home setting, which provides much distraction and is a big, huge challenge for many of my adult patients.

Kristin Seymour:
The reason I believe that this massive change and this debilitation for many of them is because there’s no mental or physical mind shift. You know how when you go to the gym from your house, you’re in the moment to work out. Or you go from your dorm or your apartment or your home to the office, you are in a work mode. Without that mind shift, many people are finding it very hard to be productive and stay on task. We’ve had to adapt their lives and implement strategies that they have found to be pretty effective and helpful in making this new environment successful and productive.

Kristin Seymour:
In order to help that mind shift, I even have some of my patients, once they get up, make their bed, brush their teeth, and get dressed as if they are going to an office, some of them even go drive around the block just to move their mind from the thought of, “Okay, I’m going from my home as a sanctuary and a place of rest to, now, I’m coming back to the house or apartment or whatever as an employee, as a producer.” That’s been really helpful. But keeping that routine and structure in place, same wake and sleep time, maintaining their prescription medication as directed and prescribed, is all key to being successful with this work at home environment. Creating a schedule, writing it down, keeping it visual, things like that are really essential for these visual learning ADHDers.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, absolutely it is. One suggestion is to do the mind shift.

Kristin Seymour:
Yes.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And what’s the second one?

Kristin Seymour:
Oh, I have many.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay.

Kristin Seymour:
Waking up at the same time every day, even if your first meeting, Zoom call, conference call, whatever platform you’re working from isn’t until maybe an hour after you typically wake, still get up at 6:30 or 7:00. Go for a walk, exercise, keep your body on that same routine.

Kristin Seymour:
The biggest thing a lot of my patients are missing is they don’t have a good understanding of writing down each platform of a meeting. For instance, you have Google Meet, Adobe Connect, Zoom, Google Classroom. You have all these different ways people are communicating and a lot of people have different passwords, different usernames, so I tell them, “Log on 10 to 15 minutes and be sure you have the right meeting platform, the right time zone, and have everything charged and ready to go,” because a lot of patients are missing simple things like that. It has nothing to do with their production or their productivity or their content, it’s just being organized, on time, and on the right platform, with a charged device. Those are all things we can control.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. All right. What’s next?

Kristin Seymour:
Another thing that will be really helpful for them is to space their appointments, if possible. If my patients are able to schedule all appointments… whether they’re a phone call, a virtual video call… everything 30 minutes apart so that you have that 30 minutes to recapture yourself, jot notes, stay on top of it, stay on time, stay organized, so that at the end of the day you’re not playing catch up.

Kristin Seymour:
On that same note, you want to make sure that you answer your emails as they’re coming through, but don’t get all tied up and hyperfocused on them if it’s going to take more attention than a couple of minutes. Print that, put it to the side, and know you have to get to it later. Those are all things that have been real time suckers and get my patients down a rabbit hole of they get tied up in one email or they run late on a meeting. Use alarms. Use technology. Space your appointments.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Over the past few months, I’ve spoken to my friend, the founder and creator of OmegaBrite Wellness, Dr. Carol Locke, about the benefits of taking OmegaBrite’s Omega-3s CBD and other supplements. Here’s a clip from one of those conversations.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Now, there are many different products, brands of fish oil. Why is OmegaBrite the best?

Carol Locke:
What I can speak to with OmegaBrite is it’s a very different formula than typically what you can get in the store or online and OmegaBrite is clinically proven. We have over 10 studies in major academic centers showing OmegaBrite improving mood, helping with bipolar, with depression, with ADHD, with anxiety, with inflammation. So, it’s a very proven product for you to gain these benefits and these benefits, we know, come from OmegaBrite. You can’t get that with a typical Omega-3, which has, say, 180 milligrams of EPA in it. That just isn’t going to provide that benefit.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Distraction listeners, you can save 20% on your first order at omegabritewellness.com by using the promo code PODCAST2020.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
All right, let’s get back to today’s topic.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
What should they do about the lack of human contact?

Kristin Seymour:
That’s a good one. One of the most important things they should do is, if they’re living alone, to check in with another adult. Whether it’s a significant other, a neighbor, a family member, to everyday check in with someone either on a walk social distancing, have a Zoom call just socializing with friends, but mask, get together. I think the social isolation is really difficult. I think not having the camaraderie of a team in a work environment around you is difficult. As long as you check in with yourself, check in with one other person, and then always socializing with your spouse and stuff. Make sure you tell your spouse and your significant other, roommate, family what you need right now. Because what I need is different than what you need. Maybe that friend needs to give them reassurance. Maybe it’s their boss telling them they’re doing okay. The social isolation is really devastating to these people and they have to think outside the box in how to see one another, but there’s lots of things that we can do that aren’t in an office.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Maybe they miss their boss and they want someone to yell at them, so you could ask someone to yell at you.

Kristin Seymour:
Right. Exactly.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I’m just kidding, Kristen.

Kristin Seymour:
I have a man I’m working with-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I’m just kidding.

Kristin Seymour:
… I have a man I’m working who, he’s in his mid-20s, and is a very successful architect type of position and he was really struggling with all of them, with the lack of structure and time and to-do lists and things being visual. So, we got his significant other on board. She was such a partner in it. We utilized a white noise machine to drown out distractions of delivery trucks and barking animals and just typical things.

Kristin Seymour:
Then, we actually also contacted his supervisor and just said, “He’s adjusting to this. These are the things we’re implementing.” The boss was so empathetic and understanding. He didn’t have to go into this whole history of his diagnosis, but he just said, “Look, this is a whole new world, particular for my distracted mind.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I was kidding when I say get someone to yell at you, but I think a lot of people miss having the cheerleading, and that could be yelling, “Come on, team. Let’s go. Let’s go. We’re going to nail it today. We’re going to go through the roof.” And it’s just not there. It’s crickets. I think the encouragement, cheerleading that people often dismiss as superficial is, in fact, profoundly important.

Kristin Seymour:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). I think you’re right on. I think your first point of with crickets, when you said that, an idol mind can be a devil’s workshop. These people that can be so prone to that default mode or hyperfocus or going down a dark place, this is a real serious time for them. So, like you said, the camaraderie, the team work, the cheering them on, is really essential. It can be, I think, knowing as you say, Ned, no one should ever worry alone, whether it’s worrying about their work, worrying about their family. They need to tap into someone they trust. If they don’t have someone, there are a lot of resources. There’s a lot of hotlines. There’s a lot of support groups and people you can talk to.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yep.

Kristin Seymour:
The other thing is utilizing those grocery delivery apps or food delivery apps to help maximize your time during the day. Auto pay all your bills. Make sure you remind yourself on your calendar to have your medication refilled. A lot of those controlled substances, people forget about them. When you’re at home, you just kind of assume things are going to be done. You got to remember to call and get your medication refilled.

Kristin Seymour:
There’s a lot of things we can do to help them be organized and be focused.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You mentioned the food delivery services. On the other hand, I look forward to going out to the food store as sort of my outing. Oh good, I get to go to the food store and push my cart, get a little exercise, see some human faces behind masks, smile at them, talk to the deli counter guy. It’s my little trip to the park and I get my shopping done. So, I don’t want a delivery service, but I can certainly understand people who do. You’re absolutely right, it is a way to save time.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I can’t not add that no one needs to be alone. Get a dog. I know this is a broken record because I squeeze it into every podcast, but it’s no accident that God spelled backwards is dog. Particularly if you’re alone, if you have a dog, believe me, you won’t feel alone.

Kristin Seymour:
Yeah, I loved when you said in a lecture at one of the conferences a couple years ago, you said you had written more prescriptions for dogs or a pet than you did for anything else.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yes. Yes, I don’t know how many people filled those prescriptions, but I really-

Kristin Seymour:
Yeah, I think the dog, having someone to love unconditionally there, is great, or take care of. I just can’t stress enough how much this lack of a mind shift and getting them into that mind space of production for these patients has really been a challenge. I don’t think many people are really talking about it. People are just really struggling with their jobs and there’s been a lot of layoffs and furloughs. It’s just a really tough time right now. I love your quote, “Just never worry alone. Be there for each other.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… The only reason I go to my office… I live in Arlington, have an office in Sudbury… and the only reason I get up and drive the half hour drive to the office in Sudbury is just for that mind shift. There’s nobody there. A couple of administrative assistants, but I don’t see any patients live. It’s all done by Zoom, which I could just as easily do from home, but I want the feeling of getting in my car, driving out there, coming in, unpacking my briefcase, setting up my laptop, getting a cup of coffee, sitting down, opening it up, starting the Zoom. You’re so right. It’s a kind of a ritual that my brain is accustomed too.

Kristin Seymour:
Exactly.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
If it doesn’t get it, it’s sort of saying, “Okay, what the heck’s going on here?”

Kristin Seymour:
Exactly. That lack of a true shift happens when one physically moves from one environment to the other, like you said, and when that’s out of our control we have to create a natural shift. That’s why I said I have a couple of my patients driving around the block-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s a great idea.

Kristin Seymour:
… and then going back into their home as an employee because it’s just so going to the hospital to do my job, or coming to my office to see patients and Zooming them from here. Just like you, it makes me feel like I’m in a different head space.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Don’t you think it should be more than around the block? Maybe drive a few miles?

Kristin Seymour:
Yeah, that would be great, depending on how big their block is. But it’s just, I would say, in the exercise piece and movement, the ADHD brain loves movement. So, I will do one part of my role from Zoom in my office where I see ADHD patients and then I do another part of my role from my home because we can’t go to the hospital right now, due to limiting COVID exposure unnecessarily. It’s interesting. You have your different head spaces for your different places and I think people really need to play into that and really think about that because it’s a big deal.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
What I’m going to do now is engage in a conversation with a delightful young woman by the name of Katie [Labumbard 00:17:43]-

Katie L.:
That’s me!

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… a student at… there you are… a student at Landmark College, our podcast sponsor and the college of choice for students who learn differently. Welcome to the podcast, Katie.

Katie L.:
Thank you so much. Love to be here.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, the reason we want to talk to you and follow you along is track your progress at Landmark College. You’re a senior, is that correct?

Katie L.:
Yes, correct.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And you’re graduating in the spring?

Katie L.:
Yes, so that’s one more semester after this one.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Tell me what it’s been like to be at Landmark.

Katie L.:
Well, as we all know, this semester in particular has been very different, but beforehand it’s a life changing experience. High school is absolutely terrible and I can’t speak for everyone, but most of the people I have met here, we share a universal experience of having a terrible high school experience, whether it was from segregation into the special ed classrooms or just not getting exactly what we need in terms of education or that social experience that helps us grow.

Katie L.:
So, I came to Landmark, I think, very developmentally delayed, very awkward, very not ready for anything in the real world. To come here and be able to not start over but have different supports that I wasn’t used to, have people that understood what I was going through and see me of the same light and go through what others have gone through, that was so helpful, incredibly.

Katie L.:
Now, I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be. Now, with this whole pandemic going on and classes being different, everything being different, it’s hard to learn, but as I said before, people here, we’re used to adapting. We’re used to needing to step it up and learn maybe more than other people would have to. So, I think we do have a leg up there, but that being said, it’s still difficult.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
What are your hopes and dreams? What do you hope to be doing after you graduate from Landmark?

Katie L.:
Oh man, that’s definitely a scary thought. My broad dream is to open a business. I’m an entrepreneur. I think that career style fits good with how I work and learn, especially with being my own boss, but that’s really as much thought as I put toward my future, especially with the career. Within my recent years at Landmark, I’ve gotten really into activism, especially with the newer diverse movements and with women’s movement and women’s rights. I’ve also really gotten into that. We’ll see where that takes me.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Good. Good for you. Most entrepreneurs have ADHD, so you’re in really good company. Thank you. Thank you so much, Katie.

Katie L.:
Yeah, you too. So nice to meet you. Thank you so much for doing this.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Listeners, if you’d like to learn more about Landmark College, the college of choice for students who learn differently, go to lcdistraction.org. Okay, let’s get back to today’s show.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
How under the weather, so to speak, psychologically, do you think most people are because of this? I think I say none of us is getting enough of the other vitamin C, vitamin connect. We’re all suffering from a little bit of a vitamin connect deficiency, but are you seeing it really bothering a lot of your folks?

Kristin Seymour:
Yes. I don’t think I’ve ever honestly been as busy right now as I am and a lot of it is because my patients are struggling, young and older, particularly this 19 to 30 year-old cohort of patients. Whether they’re single, married, whatever their state is, they are struggling. It’s hard enough to think differently and have our super powers as ADHDers in a typical environment with just regular pressure, social media, and everything else, other pressures. But then to have this social isolation and restrictions is just making people feel even further apart from each other and it’s really affecting my folks in a big way. It’s affecting the students with their assignments. It’s affecting their action in class. It’s actually setback, significantly, a few of my patients who I’ve made a lot of progress with, because it’s so unfamiliar and isolating. They feel terrible. We’re really working hard to be outside and create new habits and find new sports and things like that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So, being outdoors, whether permitting, is another key strategy?

Kristin Seymour:
Yes. I actually told a patient the other day, I said, “Well, get a rain coat and go walk in the rain.” Come on, it doesn’t have to be sunshine and lollipops and rainbows every day. Just put on a rain coat, get an umbrella, and as long as it’s not thundering and lightning, go take a walk. I’ve been biking. I’ve got a little girl I’m working with who’s 10 who’s taken up golf because she gets to be outside and she can be a part.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Wow, that’s wonderful. That’s really wonderful. And a walk in the rain, well you know my children’s story, the only children’s book I’ve ever written, the title of it is A Walk in the Rain with the Brain.

Kristin Seymour:
Right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Walking in the rain [crosstalk 00:23:41]-

Kristin Seymour:
So, getting outside, changing the environment, changing your work environment home, connecting with your friends and family, making sure you stay compliant and on a schedule and routine. People just expect it to happen and people who are on a routine and get ample sleep every night and eat, and have hard-boiled eggs, something protein packed, things ready in the fridge to grab if you’re in a hurry in the middle of the day to eat between meetings, just start to prepare yourself. Those life hacks we always talk about. Have things ready so you’re not flailing.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… And you’re so good at those, you really. So, half a dozen hard-boiled eggs and some carrot sticks ready and a pickle or two.

Kristin Seymour:
Exactly. I always tell people, I’m like, “Grab some sunflower seeds. Have about six hard-boiled eggs ready in your fridge. Have some bottles of water. Fill your big… You have a cooler in the back of your car so if you do go, Ned, like you to your office and work from a Zoom and you want to do errands on the way back, throw your produce in a cooler. Leave a cooler in the back of your car. Have your car always at a quarter tank full.” Our people always run out of gas.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s another great suggestion.

Kristin Seymour:
Or else they’re coming to me on fumes. Those are just some simple life hacks. Have your prescriptions post-dated and put on the hold file in the pharmacy if your state allows that. It’s just all those kinds of things. Make your bed every day. Then, you’ve done one thing right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, it’s so true. Filling your tank. Another suggestion I make is to have a joke book nearby at all times. I think we can-

Kristin Seymour:
Oh, I love that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… I think these days we can suffer from excessive solemnity. It’s got to be jokes that you think are funny, but not just any joke book.

Kristin Seymour:
Right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
But a joke book that will reliably make you laugh because it is true that laughter does dilute a lot of negative feelings.

Kristin Seymour:
It does. And just smile. When you start your Zoom meetings, smile at each other. I read the other day that a smile is the starch of peace. It really is. If we all just took a minute. Everyone’s in such a hurry and so angry all the time right now. It’s really a crazy time, but the one thing we can do is be gentle with ourselves, plan ahead, be cognizant of a mind shift, and just try to be gentle with yourself. Everyone’s so hard on themselves right now too. But I’m your boss-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And be kind. There was a big survey, hundreds of thousands of people, voting on what are the three most attractive qualities in a person. Not physical attributes, but what are the three most attractive qualities. What do you think the top three were?

Kristin Seymour:
… That aren’t physical?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Not physical.

Kristin Seymour:
A positive attitude?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, kindness. Number one was kindness.

Kristin Seymour:
Kindness.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
They called it kindness. Yep.

Kristin Seymour:
What were the other two?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Number two was health, to be in good health. And number three was intelligence.

Kristin Seymour:
Wow. That’s fascinating. That’s probably so true. Being kind is important, but I don’t think enough people are right now.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
No, no. Really, we’ve really got to do something about it, no matter who the president is. We really need to.

Kristin Seymour:
Oh, I know. I was in line the other day and this little elderly woman was behind me and had one item and I let her go ahead of me and the person two behind, even though we were all six feet apart, got mad at me. I was like, “What is wrong with this scenario here?”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Really. That’s amazing. Got mad at you for letting a little old lady with one item get in front of you?

Kristin Seymour:
Yeah.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s just-

Kristin Seymour:
I was just like, “Wow.” So, it really made me think, “Okay, we all need to be a little gentler with ourselves, a little kinder, a little more forgiving and just get through each day right now,” because this is not as easy time for anyone.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… No, it’s not at all. No, we’re all a little frazzled, I think. These are great suggestions, Kristin, as always. [crosstalk 00:27:59]-

Kristin Seymour:
Oh, yeah. You’re welcome. I just think that the idea of the mind thing is really… it’s kind of, when you really think about it… it really can help people then framework how they can be most productive, how they can take this nuance, this new way we’re living and try to make it work because you’re home and your home should be your sanctuary. Yeah. But you can make it. I don’t care if you live in a studio apartment, you can find another little corner-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… Yes, absolutely.

Kristin Seymour:
… that’s different and put a little plant there. Figure it out. A little change up. People can help you. I’m always here.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You are. Now, if someone wants to reach you or go to your website, what’s the best way to do it?

Kristin Seymour:
Well, just going to my website’s probably the best and that’s my ADHDfoglifted.com website. I have this whole-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Wait a minute. Let me say that for the listeners that don’t know it. ADHDfoglifted.com?

Kristin Seymour:
… Right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
ADHD, fog, F-O-G, lifted, L-I-F-T-E-D, .com and that’s Kristin’s website and you can reach her through that. Then, of course, her book, The Fog Lifted: A Clinician’s Victorious Journey with ADHD. It’s a wonderful book. It’s autobiographical, but it’s full of [inaudible 00:29:14] and it’s full of wonderfully useful and amusing and deep and moving anecdotes and ideas.

Kristin Seymour:
Thank you. Thank you, Ned. There’s also my binder that’s on there that gives virtual learning tips for the elementary school student, the college student, the adult that I think has been real helpful for parents because it’s a whole new… parents turned into teachers overnight. I think that this provides some real good tools that are from different articles and different resources all at your fingertips in a few pages. That’s on my site too, if anyone needs help with that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Wonderful. I can tell you if that binder is like taking a special ed consultant home with you. It really is amazingly detailed. Not in a boring way, in an encyclopedic useful way. It’s a wonderful resource.

Kristin Seymour:
That’s right. You saw that. I just added a tab for virtual, so you know exactly. Yeah. It’s even more robust now.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Good word, robust. Well, Kristin also wrote a robust blurb for my new book, which won’t be out until January but I am tickled to have her name on the back of my book.

Kristin Seymour:
Oh, the new book? ADHD 2.0 is fabulous.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Thank you.

Kristin Seymour:
Honestly, as an ADHDer who finds reading to be something I have to do and usually don’t want to do, I wanted to finish that. I wanted to read it. It was awesome.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Thank you so much. Well, I think you can order it in advance on Amazon now, but it was wonderful to-

Kristin Seymour:
Yeah, it is excellent. It’s informative. It’s a great navigator and guide. I loved it. I think you and Dr. Ratey did a great job. I mean, it’s wonderful.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… Thank you.

Kristin Seymour:
I hope everybody…

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Thank you.

Kristin Seymour:
I thought it was great and I think all the books are great, but I think that one and Distraction are fabulous. This is even better.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Thank you so much. And yours, we’ve got this mutual admiration society going here, but it’s true. You really are like the ADHD whisperer. You just get it in a way that very few people do. Anyone who-

Kristin Seymour:
Thank you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… is lucky enough to have a consultation with you, comes away the better for it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, will you promise to come on my podcast again someday?

Kristin Seymour:
Of course. You know I love it. It’s so fun. I always love chatting with you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Good.

Kristin Seymour:
We always share some great information.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. Well, it’s been great having you.

Kristin Seymour:
Thank you so much.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Thank you for this wonderful contribution today and we’ll talk to you soon. Take care, Kristin.

Kristin Seymour:
You too, Ned.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
All right. Well, that’s our show for today. To learn more about Kristin Seymour, go to ADHDfoglifted.com. You can watch the short videos she creates every week for parents of school-age kids with ADHD and you can also get her 100 page resource binder filled with strategies and tools for success with ADHD at home and at school.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Kristin is also on Instagram with the username ADHD Fog Lifted. You can also find Distraction on Instagram too, as well as Facebook and Twitter. You can find my 60 second videos clips on ADHD on TikTok. We now have over three million views on TikTok, so it’s worth going to check it out. It’s @DrHallowell on TikTok. I’ve unloaded a bunch of videos there and I’d love to hear what you think.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Our email is [email protected] That’s [email protected] Okay, as I said, that’s it for today. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the wonderful Sarah Guertin and our audio engineer and editor is the brilliant Scott Persson. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell and thank you so much for joining me and us.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The episode you just heard was made possible by my good friends at OmegaBrite Wellness. I take their supplements every day and that’s why I invited them to sponsor my podcast. Shop online at omegabrite… and that’s B-R-I-T-E… wellness.com.

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Mentally Prepare Yourself For The Future

Mentally Prepare Yourself For The Future

As fall nears closer and the pandemic rages on it can be difficult to envision what next month, or even next week will look like. In this mini episode Dr. H shares some words of advice on how to think about the future and get ready for whatever comes next.

Please share your thoughts and ideas with us! Write an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected].

Thanks to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness! Distraction listeners  SAVE 20% on their first order with the promo code: Podcast2020 at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

And thank you to our sponsor, Landmark College in Putney, Vermont. Click HERE to learn more the college of choice for students who learn differently.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson, and our producer is Sarah Guertin.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode of Distraction is sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested and it works. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com. And by Landmark College, offering comprehensive support for students with ADHD and other learning differences. Learn more at lcdistraction.org. Landmark College, the college of choice for students who learn differently. Hello and welcome to this mini episode of Distraction. I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thank you so much for joining me. We love having you with us and lending us your ears.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Our wonderful producer, Sarah, gave me a note to base this mini on, and I’ll just read you what she gave me. She wrote, “I think we’ve all been waiting for fall to get here, kind of wait and see what’s going to happen with the pandemic. But now that it’s almost here, what if nothing changes, or worse yet we have to go into lockdown again? How do you look ahead when you can’t envision what it will look like?” Well, that’s the world we’re living in. Isn’t it? How have we done it so far? How do we look ahead when we don’t know what it’s going to bring? This whole thing has been an exercise in learning flexibility, an exercise in learning resilience, an exercise in learning how to find connection in places we haven’t found it before, learning new uses of technology.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
My practice has drastically changed, but thanks to Zoom and the telephone, I’m able to see patients. Without Zoom and the telephone and other platforms, I wouldn’t be able to. They wouldn’t be able to see me, nor I could see them. Now, it’s not as good as in-person, but in many ways it’s better for people who leave live two or three hours away or people will live with the other side of the country or the other side of the world for that matter. It’s an absolute godsend, and I think I will continue after the pandemic is over to offer that as an option. You can either see me live and in-person or over Zoom or another platform, so it’s been wonderful in that sense. Another hidden advantage is my two kids, our two kids who live in New York City, work in New York City have come home, and they’ve been with us for the past three months to avoid the virus in New York when it was so bad, and they’re doing their work. Fortunately they can from home, so we’ve had the benefit of their wonderful company.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
But the damage is colossal and the deaths and the restrictions on life and the not going to restaurants and going to movies. I used to love to take my son, who lives locally too, we’d go to Legal Seafood, a great seafood restaurant near us, and then we’d go to the Burlington Mall cinema and watch movie. We’d do that almost once a week. Sometimes Sue, my wife, would come with us, and sometimes she wanted a night to herself. But we can’t do that anymore. We haven’t been able to do that anymore, and then of course the big X factor, school. What’s going to happen with that? And we don’t know, and as we try to look ahead, people form opinions, and people think this, think that, think the other thing, and sometimes they get very angry and strident about it, but we’re still dealing with X factors, with unknowns. When you’re dealing with unknowns, you want to try to plan for various contingencies.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Harvard Business School made the worst case scenario famous by saying, “Well, let’s imagine the worst case scenario and then plan for that, and then if we do that, we’ve got everything else covered.” But we don’t even really know what the worst case scenario is with this virus. Haven’t we already had the worst case scenario? Can it get worse? Well, sure it could get worse, but what steps are we taking to make sure that doesn’t happen, and how can we maintain hope but also be realistic and prepare for bad things? So I guess my riff on Sarah’s question is use your imagination, both imagining what you hope for and imagining what you dread and get ready for all of the above, knowing that we are very resilient as humans. We’re very resilient, and what really makes us most resilient is when we’re serving one another, when we’re connected to one another, when we’re working together, because then you see we create a mission, and mission really motivates people.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And our mission now is to survive and to thrive, but begins with survive, and we’d never had our survival threatened on a daily basis, at least in my lifetime, like we have it threatened today. Survival is actually a matter that we have to take precaution to ensure, and wearing masks and keeping distance and all that kind of stuff, washing hands. We’re doing things. We’ve adapted. We’re banding together. We’re helping one another. By wearing a mask, you help other people, not just yourself. By washing your hands, you help other people. I mean, by working together, we’re building muscles we didn’t know we had, and we’re learning the value of interdependence rather than independence. We’re learning the value and power of what we can do together.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
My daughter happens to work for the National Football League, so I’m, as a long-time 26-year season ticket holder for the New England Patriots, I’m praying not only for my sake to have football back, but for my daughter’s sake, because that’s her job. We’re hoping and praying, and I can tell you the NFL is taking tremendous care and precaution. They’re working very, very hard to do everything they can to allow the season to proceed. But again, there are X factors. Who knows what will happen? I do take my hat off to the NFL for the way they’re handling it so far, and I take my hat off to businesses and organizations everywhere as they deal with this and try to make the best of it for everybody.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Again, the people who are hit the hardest are the people who are hit the hardest by everything: people who live in poverty, people of color, people who don’t have access to medical care, who don’t have access to good food, who don’t have access to transportation, all of that, the people who usually get the short end of the stick. And I think it’s up to us to try to reach out to them in whatever ways we can. So the answer to Sarah’s question, “How do you look ahead when you can’t envision what it will look like?” My answer is envision and just know that you’re probably wrong, but one of your visions will be close to what happens, and you want to prepare for all of them as best you can and never worry alone.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So don’t envision alone; share your thoughts with other people. Go online. Talk to neighbors, friends, however you do it, but this is a groupthink. This is not an individual think. This is a groupthink, and if we groupthink long and hard enough, this thing will come to an end, and we’ll reduce the damage it will do, and we’ll even find the hidden good things, just as I’ve discovered Zoom as a way of seeing patients and have got two of my three kids back inadvertently but as a special hidden benefit.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay. Once again, I’d like to thank our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness. My wife and I have taken their omega-3 supplements for years, and for the past several months, I’ve been taking their CBD supplement as well. I highly recommend them both. Go to OmegaBriteWellness.com and save 20% on your first order with the code “podcast2020.” Okay, please continue to reach out to us with your questions, comments, and show ideas. We love them, need them, thrive on them and would be lost without. Send your thoughts in an email or record a voice memo and send it to us at [email protected] That’s the word “connect” @distractionpodcast.com, and talk about from rags to riches, that little at sign, which never, ever, ever used to get used by hardly anybody is now everywhere. It must be so proud. It went from nothing to the penthouse, that little at sign. What a story.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the infallible, lovely and brilliant Sarah Guertin, and our recording engineer and editor is the impeccably careful and always never missing a note or a sound, Scott Persson, and that’s Persson with two S’s. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell saying goodbye for today.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The episode you just heard was sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD: safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

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It’s Okay to Acknowledge Problems

It’s Okay to Acknowledge Problems

In this mini, Dr. H reminds us that it’s okay to complain and be upset about a situation (like the pandemic). But then you have to pick yourself up, make a plan and follow it!

Thank you to our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD! Dr. Hallowell takes the supplement every day because it’s safe, 3rd party tested, and it works. Distraction listeners SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020 at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Reach out to us! Share your thoughts and questions by sending an email or voice memo to [email protected].

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

This episode was originally released in April 2020.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode of Distraction is sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD. Formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one, Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com. And Landmark College offering comprehensive support for students with ADHD and other learning differences. Learn more at lcdistraction.org. Landmark College, the college of choice for students who learn differently.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini episode of Distraction. As we soldier on through the Coronavirus pandemic that has settled in upon the nation in a sort of viral fog. We get many, many messages reassuring us that things will work out and urging us to be positive in our approach and to buck each other up. And those messages have certainly been coming from me, as well as almost everyone else who offers messages.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
But I want it to just sound a little bit of a permission, if you will, to complain. You don’t have to go around pretending that everything’s fine. Everything’s going to work out. Things are terrible. Businesses are failing right and left. People are going out of business. People are losing their livelihoods, not to mention their lives, but short of the loss of life, which is of course tragic, much more common is the loss of business and economic hardship. And I just think, you got to be able to complain about that. Acknowledge it before you get on to the positive thinking and all that. There’s nothing negative about acknowledging a problem. In fact, there’s something very good about acknowledging a problem. And it’s also good for the soul and the nervous system in general, to let off steam, to say, “God. Dang, this is awful.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I don’t like this. And complain. Get mad at God. Get mad at whoever you get mad at. Say, “why? What did we do to deserve this?” And of course the answer is nothing. This is not a punishment. This is a phenomenon of viral behavior that maybe could have been prevented. But whatever. We are in the midst of it, and it’s pretty darn yucky. It’s pretty darn awful. And I just want to reassure you that it’s okay to say that. Feel it. Say it. Complain together. One of my mottos is, never worry alone. Well, never complain alone. You find other people that complain together, raise a protest against nature, against viruses. And then of course, get on with the business of helping each other out and trying to move in a positive and constructive direction. But with this mini episode, I just wanted to give you permission to do the obvious, which is to complain, be upset, acknowledge how up against it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So many of us are. And then look around and try to find the solutions that will, with the passage of time, lead us out of this viral fog. Until then, I look forward to connecting with you soon. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell for Distraction. I’d like to thank our new sponsor. Actually, our new-old sponsor who re-sign up. OmegaBrite CBD for supporting this podcast. I take it every day and I highly recommend it. It’s formulated by Dr. Carol Locke of Harvard Medical School and her company, OmegaBrite Wellness, who have created the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years, which I also take, as does my wife, Sue. OmegaBrite CBD is safe, third-party tested. And I am here to tell you it works. I honestly just started it at about three weeks ago and it is definitely made me feel more even… Find OmegaBrite CBD online at OmegaBriteWellness.com. So you go to O-M-E-B-G-A-B-R-I-T-E Wellness.com and then look for the CBD product.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay. Remember to reach out to us with your comments. Share your thoughts with us by writing an email or recording a voice memo and sending it to [email protected] That’s [email protected] Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer and editor is, the always impeccable and delightful Pat Keogh. And our producer is the lovely and always full of ideas, Sarah Guertin.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The episode of Distraction you just heard was sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD. Formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com. That’s O-M-E-G-A-B-R-I-T-E Wellness.com.

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Why Do Some People Refuse to Wear Masks?

Why Do Some People Refuse to Wear Masks?

Our host and Dr. Ken Duckworth, the Chief Medical Officer for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), exchange theories on why some Americans refuse to wear masks during the pandemic.

Looking for mental health-related help? Learn about NAMI by clicking HERE.

Is there a topic you’d like Dr. Hallowell to explore in a podcast? Write an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected].

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD. Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode of Distraction is sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini episode of Distraction. Today, I’m having a conversation with my great and dear friend, Dr. Ken Duckworth who is the medical director of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mentally Ill and former commissioner of Mental Health of Massachusetts and an all around wonderful man, psychiatrist, father and just superb human being. And we got to talking about why people wear or don’t wear masks. I hope you’ll find this interesting because I think we make a few points that are not exactly what you’d expect.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That if only people would play by the rules of the game. I mean, this country, we lag so far behind Europe in controlling it. We could control it if everyone would wear masks, wash their hands and keep the distance. What is it about the Americans that they’re so stubborn, that some people say it’s my personal right not to wear a mask?

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Ned, this is such a fun question because I majored in political science as I told you, and no one ever asks me a major, a political science question.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
So I think my answer would be that America was grown up on distrust of government. You go back to the American Revolution, right, the king, control, government, right, the three branches of government. The idea that people were inherently corruptible and that if you gave one person too much power, so you had to have the three branches. So in Europe, people like the government. Per square inch, they give more money to it than we do. They trust the government. They give everyone health insurance. College is pretty cheap in most of the countries, not in every country, but it is a different orientation.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
We also just have this longstanding concern, which I think Ronald Reagan articulated, that government is the problem, right. I mean, I’m not sure that the French have ever gone that far. I mean, maybe since the French Revolution in 1789. But I think, in general, I don’t think there is this inherent distrust. And of course, when your leader says don’t wear a mask.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
And a quarter of Americans genuinely follow what the leader says, plus or minus, that’s a lot, that’s millions and millions of people who are like, “Well, we’re not buying this.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. There is another strain. Like you say, we were born and bred to mistrust government and we were born and bred as revolutionaries, but there is another big strain in the American grain, I think, that contributes to this, which is intense anti-intellectualism.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Ah, yes. Yes. That’s a subject I know less about. But, I think this whole idea that scientists are elitists, right?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
The overeducated.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Science gets to bat last, and this is going to be true in the pandemic. It’s going to be true in climate change. You can’t really argue science.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Exactly.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I’m, unfortunately, concerned about our ability to integrate scientific information. And I do think people should have the freedom to not wear a mask when they’re hiking in the woods or on a beach.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Sure, exactly.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Right. I think that’s fine.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Just when not around other people.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
But, if you’re in your little coffee shop and there is 18 square feet, it would seem to be a perilous freedom to pursue. But obviously, I’m a doctor.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
No, but I mean, the Europeans get it and we don’t. So the mistrust of government and the anti intellectual strain, it equals people dying. I mean, it’s high stakes poker.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
It’s quite high stakes. And that’s a interesting thing that I’d like to understand better, how people think about that because to me, that’s a terrible price to pay for a transitory quote, “freedom,” end quote.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, exactly.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Right?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I mean, it’s stupid is what it is, I mean.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I have a daughter who lived in Madrid for this whole pandemic and I said, “Claire, I can fly you home. You want to be here?” And she says, “Well, I think America is looking just as bad as Spain is.” And this was in March when Spain was, Madrid was the hotspot, right?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Uh-huh (affirmative).

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Now superseded by Florida, perhaps. And what’s interesting is she didn’t leave that apartment for 100 days or 90 days, something like that. She literally didn’t leave the apartment. And she went out once to take out the trash and a policeman accosted her and said, “You are not to be out of your apartment except to go to the store. Are you going to the store?” She said, “No, I’m taking the trash out.” “Okay, fine.” And she reported to me that she had a friend who took an Uber to see a friend and was fined a thousand euros.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Holy Moly!

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
So I think have a different interpretation of sort of the public good versus individual freedom. And I’ll just leave it at that, right. I think they’ve come to some different conclusions about how society functions.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. Yeah. Well, did you like that? I think Ken Duckworth is just one of the best guys in the world. In fact, I know he is. And I hope you found that discussion interesting. It is funny why it’s hard to get Americans to do things that even are in their best interests. If only we would all wear masks. But, it’s hard to get us, as a nation, to get onboard and do what we’re supposed to do. Okay. That’s it for now. This is doctor Ned Hallowell for Distraction. Be well and take care.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And remember to check out our sponsor. They help us stay on the air, so check out our sponsor OmegaBrite CBD. That’s O-M-E-G-A-B-R-I-T-E, intentionally misspelled, C-B-D. I’ve been taking it for a little over three months now and I highly recommend it. It’s good for mood and cuts down on impatience and reactivity. OmegaBrite CBD is safe, third party tested and it works. And if you go to omegabritewellness.com and use the promo code Podcast 2020, you’ll get 20% off of your first order.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Please reach out to us, [email protected] Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the always reliable and always delightful, Sarah Guertin. And our recording engineer, is an editor as well, is the very multi talented and very socially engaging, Scott Person.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The episode you just heard was sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

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When Couples Disagree About Decision-Making in the Pandemic

When Couples Disagree About Decision-Making in the Pandemic

Ned’s wife Sue joins him for a conversation about how couples can work through conflicts that might arise as a result of the pandemic. Like, how do you find a resolution when one person wants to socialize with friends, and their partner thinks it’s unsafe and shouldn’t go out? Our favorite couple offers their best advice to navigate the bumps in this long pandemic road!

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD. Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode of Distraction is sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

Sue Hallowell:
I am more social and really feel the need to connect more with people, and I think that you are perfectly happy with if we just saw our family.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell, and I want to welcome you to our podcast called Distraction.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
We are very lucky today to have an exceptionally special guest who told me not to introduce her elaborately because she’s been on the show in the past, however, not everyone listening right now, will have heard her in the past? So I said she’ll just have to put up with a somewhat more elaborate introduction than she would prefer. She would like me to spend three words on introducing her, but I have to spend more than that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You may have guessed already our very special guest is my very special wife called Sue. Sue George Hallowell. She is in addition to being the mother of our three kids and the wife to me, a consummate clinician, a licensed independent clinical social worker with many years of experience, and she specializes in couples where one or both members have ADD. Since we’ve been married for 31 years, she has at least 31 years of experience in managing a couple where one member, namely me, has ADD. She’s truly a gifted therapist in every sense of the word. I am so proud of how talented she is, and it’s always a treat when I persuade her to come on the podcast.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Let me welcome my wonderful wife, Sue George Hallowell.

Sue Hallowell:
Hi Ned. Thanks for having me again.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
We thought we’d talk a little bit about how families and couples are dealing with decision making in this pandemic, the pandemic that seems to just go on and on and on and on. I know Sue said to me that most of the couples she works with are talking about this. Let me just ask you what the issues that you’re seeing in your couples? What are the ones that are coming up most often?

Sue Hallowell:
Well right now it’s been very interesting. The whole process of how couples have related has really changed over the course of this pandemic. But what is coming up right now the most is this idea of how do we decide how much outside influence it’s okay for us to have? In the beginning of the pandemic, everybody was shut down. There was some disagreement, but generally people were on the same page that everybody needed to stay home, they needed to limit their contact with outside people, they needed to be very careful in the surfaces they touched, and there was some disagreement about whether we need to really wipe down every package or leave it out for three days or bring it in immediately. But generally people were frightened and we’re on the same page.

Sue Hallowell:
Now, four months in, and with some reduced restrictions, it is beginning to create some issues in couples, particularly where one is more risk adverse than the other, when one is more social than the other, when one maybe has more medical complications than the other, and it can create a lot of conflict between the couple about what is okay and what isn’t okay. That can even get more complicated by having children who have their own thoughts and opinions about what is okay, and what is not okay.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You usually, when we do the podcast together, love to point out the conflicts that you and I have, but in this particular issue, I don’t think we disagree about much, and I don’t think our children do either. We have our two kids from New York living with us, our daughter, Lucy, and our son Tucker, who work in New York City. They’d been home now for what? A couple of months?

Sue Hallowell:
Since May.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Since May, okay. And then Jack, our third son lives around the corner in Newton, and so he’s often here. We are all in favor of playing it by the rules; wear a mask, wash your hands and keep distance. You and I are also aghast at how difficult that is for some people in other parts of the country to do.

Sue Hallowell:
Even in Massachusetts, I don’t think we’re so special at this point. Maybe not on the grand scale but-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I don’t mean to say we’re perfect, but we’re doing it better than Texas and Arizona and Florida. The wish would be if we want to bring this thing to an end as fast as possible, that everyone would get on the same page. Those three things; wear a mask, keeps social distance and wash your hands.

Sue Hallowell:
Ned even though I would absolutely say that we’re on the same page in general, I mean, there are some differences between us and part of it has to do with our personalities, which is what gets us-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
See this is the part she’s loving. Now she’s warming to this.

Sue Hallowell:
What I was going to say is we know by nature I’m a much more social person than you, and my mental health leads me to want to certainly not go out and be in big events outside. Certainly not.

Sue Hallowell:
Excuse me one second guys. I’m on a podcast.

Speaker 3:
Sorry mom.

Sue Hallowell:
I borrowed my daughter’s earphones and she wasn’t around for me to ask so she was wondering what the hell I was doing. You can cut that out, right?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
No I think you should leave it in. It’s a lovely little bit of Hallowell life.

Sue Hallowell:
I am more social and really feel the need to connect more with people, and I think that you are perfectly happy with if we just saw our family. I’ve pushed a little bit more to have some other people be in our backyard, not in our house. We’re certainly not going to indoor restaurants or anything like that, but I’ve pushed a little bit more to have people outside of our bubble come over. I also am probably out and about a little bit more [inaudible 00:00:08:00]. And you’re also a little bit older than I am and are very concerned about getting the virus. Not that I’m not. We definitely have some differences, but I feel like that we’re not that different and that we’ve been able to negotiate the issues fairly seamlessly, but some couples are certainly having a lot more trouble than us.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I would say absolutely seamlessly. You’re about to go on a week’s vacation with our three kids to a beach in North Carolina, and I’m not going because I really don’t want to chance it. I don’t want to take the risk, but I don’t object to your going.

Sue Hallowell:
Right. We’re trying to take all the cautions. We’re basically going to stay at the house only. We’re doing all our shopping in advance and we’re driving down. But yeah, that’s a difference. That’s exactly what I’m talking about.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. Yeah. You were saying you were seeing families where they really can’t get together on these matters that they’re arguing about them.

Sue Hallowell:
Where there’s a lot of conflict, yeah. Yeah.

Sue Hallowell:
One example is a couple that I see where she is someone who is I wouldn’t say … actually they’re both pretty social. She grew up in the south and wanted to go see her family. Her family is a little bit more on the southern side of things where they certainly believe in the pandemic, but they were certainly looser quicker. She really wanted to go see her family, and her husband understands how important her family is to her. She, instead of being able to say, “Look these are the risks. Let’s look at them and decide what makes sense.” The only way she could deal with it is, “Oh, it’s not such a big deal,” or, “They’re not so worried about it.”

Sue Hallowell:
She was going with her emotion and that made him become more rigid and angry around the whole process, because he was like, “How can you say … the numbers are going up in this state and if they’re not wearing masks in public. Even if you wear masks, even if you follow the rules, if people around you aren’t, that’s going to risk you and our son, and that is really hard for me.” And so she sort of downplayed and said, “Oh no, everything’s okay.” The three of them went down there and sure enough, her family was … He immediately got shocked by the way people down there were acting and was not prepared for it and it created a lot of conflict between the two of them.

Sue Hallowell:
What we worked on was what was really hard for him was the fact that she wouldn’t acknowledge the risk. He said, “If you acknowledge it, then we might be able to make a decision based on the pros and cons. But when you won’t even acknowledge the risk, because you’re afraid the answer is going to be no, that just alienates the two of us.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
How do you help them resolve it?

Sue Hallowell:
By helping her see. When we really talked about it, she could acknowledge what the risks are. She could say, “Okay yes, I can see where people not wearing masks in public could be a problem for me. And so if I’m down there, we’re going to have to figure out a way to make that work for our family. For me, it’s so important to see my family at this point, I’m willing to take those risks. How can I help you feel more comfortable? What can we do to try within the situation make you feel more comfortable?”

Sue Hallowell:
For her, it was being able to acknowledge what the risks were. Unfortunately, this is in a couple where they’re so on the opposite page of what the risks are. For her it’s more of an emotional issue of wanting to see our family. So by her being able to acknowledge the risk and his feelings and him being able to acknowledge how important it was to her to see her family and how he didn’t want to stop her to do that, and then they were able to come up with some guidelines that worked for both of them.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay, for the past three months, I’ve been taking a new supplement called OmegaBrite CBD. Listeners know that Brite is spelled B-R-I-T-E. So it’s Omega B-R-I-T-E CBD. As I’ve mentioned before, OmegaBrite CBD was created by my good friend, Dr. Carol Locke, graduate of Harvard Medical School. Her company OmegaBrite Wellness, they’ve been making the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. Well, Carol and her team decided to break new ground and having set the standard for purity, safety and efficacy in the world of Omega-3s, and they brought that same commitment to excellence to their new CBD supplement.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I take it myself. It helps me with my reactivity, my impatience. It kind of just puts a smoother edge. In no way is it a buzz or a high, anything like that; it’s way more subtle. But it’s a very noticeable, subtle effect and one that I’ve come to really appreciate as I take it every day.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
All right. Get OmegaBrite CBD online at omegabritewellness.com. And now Distraction listeners can save 20% on their first order by using the promo code Podcast2020. That’s Podcast2020. Go to omegabritewellness.com and order OmegaBrite CBD. You’ll be glad you did just as I am.

Sue Hallowell:
In other circumstances, a lot of it has to do with if you have kids and kids are really pushing for time with their friends. Frankly, parents are about to go crazy because how many games of monopoly can you play or make believe with your kids? The kids are grumpy and parents are trying to do work or other things. Another way that some families have dealt with is they’ve developed pods, or other families that they have all sort of agreed to a set of rules to abide by. As long as everybody was in agreement this worked out well.

Sue Hallowell:
But now again, with the reduced restrictions, some families are opening up more than other families. In some cases that means that pods then end because people left in the pod don’t feel comfortable with what another family is doing, so suddenly they’re out of the pod. Or the couple can argue about again, is maintaining the pod more important than what this other family is doing? When you have someone who is the primary person at home, who’s taking care of the kids and all they can imagine is not having this outlet, you can see where there’s a lot of trouble that develops.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, for sure. And then of course there’s the looming issue of what happens when school is supposed to start in late August or early September.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I was talking to a man this morning whose daughter is supposed to go to college in New York City. The dad had at first been assuming that it was going to be safe, but now he had second thoughts and he tried very hard to persuade her not to go. She said, “Look, what am I going to do? I can’t just stay at home. I can’t have a normal gap year, because I can’t go to Europe, I can’t get an internship.” She said, “I’ve got to give it a try.” He said he was so torn between agreeing with her or not. He’s going to come down on the side of it’s okay because he said it’s very unlikely for young people to die from this or even get terribly sick, but it’s more the risk of they’re bringing it home and grandma or grandpa getting very sick and perhaps dying.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s a real tough one. I know many patients who have little kids in elementary school. What’s going to happen with them, and maybe more importantly, what’s going to happen with their teachers and then their grandparents?

Sue Hallowell:
Right. Right. Yeah. The situation is so tough and the decisions are so challenging. What I try to work with people around is really look at your values and look at the risk benefit analysis. That has to be different for every family. I have a family where the dad has multiple myeloma and the mom has had significant heart issues, so both of them are extremely compromised. Their children are of an age that are looking at college or being out in the world a little bit too. In that case, the risk is so high to the parents that you might need to look differently at the independence of the child and the child being able to move on, or how are you going to manage that if the child … well, young adults, they’re not children, but young adult … does go because their need to move ahead is such an important value for them, but you’ve got parents with such risk.

Sue Hallowell:
So you have to take that into consideration as opposed to another family where parents are older, there may be some risk, but the idea of what the child needs moving forward may take some precedence over the risk if you weigh it carefully. The same thing about whether you have people over, or how much you see people. What are the mental health risks versus what are the physical risks? What are the risks for the illness?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Ass you say, it’s not just the medical risk of getting the virus; it’s the enormous psychological toll. I mean, kids really need school. They really need other kids. And to deny them that is really … I mean, I think the kids will suffer far more …

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s our daughter’s little Chiweenie barking.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The kids; it’s the psychological toll, the mental health toll of missing school. Not to mention the parents who have to somehow provide care all day. I had a mom saying to me, I’m really tired of being a parent 24/7. There’s a psychological toll on the child, on the parents, and that’s not to be minimized. And the toll of being separated … My big thing about the other vitamin C, vitamin connect. We’ve been living through a period of forced separation. Now there are ways of getting the vitamin C as we’ve talked about in other podcasts. But gosh, it’s so hard to do the calculus. Where do you come down?

Sue Hallowell:
And then you have differences in just people’s internal anxiety levels, right?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Sue Hallowell:
I mean, there’s what is safe and what is unsafe on one level, and then there are certainly people who their anxiety leads them to be much more concerned about the virus than maybe other people would be at the same time. [Inaudible 00:21:38] go all the way to an extreme example. I have a family whose 28 year old son came home from New York. He really has OCD almost to I wouldn’t say psychotic, but extreme, extreme. Whenever they brought groceries in, they couldn’t just rinse them down. I mean, he wanted everything disinfected. He couldn’t tolerate people going out and seeing anybody. He was to such an extreme, it was absolutely making everybody in the house … it was intolerable.

Sue Hallowell:
You have that level all the way up to people who are just much more anxious and concerned about it, and then people who by nature just don’t have the same level of, again, we’re talking within normal limits, don’t have the same concern about it. It’s hard to manage those feelings and those differences. Especially with a person who feels, “Look, it’s not that bad. We don’t have to be that concerned about it.” And the person who’s anxious just falls apart.

Sue Hallowell:
There’s a lot of helping people understand that sometimes the facts don’t even matter as much as people’s feelings. And you have to go into the level of understanding of how each person feels and accept that and acknowledge it and work around that rather than telling them you’re ridiculous for being so anxious about this. It’s just not that bad. Or I can’t believe you don’t love us at all, and you don’t care whether I get sick.

Sue Hallowell:
There’s also trying to really listen to the other person and understand what their concerns and worries are, and not just get angry or dismissive of them, but take that into consideration and figure out a solution that feels at least somewhat comfortable for both parties.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. Our advice is to respect the other person’s point of view, understand the other person’s point of view, listen long enough so that you know the other person’s point of view. You often say, Sue, it’s so hard to see anything from the other person’s point of view. It does take an effort.

Sue Hallowell:
Yes it does.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Keats called it negative capability, the ability to negate yourself in favor of someone else. Now’s an important time to do that and not ridicule the other person and not let your family become polarized because this thing is not a political issue. It’s a medical, psychological, emotional issue that I think each person, each family solves following guidelines. I know you and I both wish the country would follow of wear a mask, keep social distance, keep six feet distance and wash your hands. Not that hard. Not that hard. If everyone would do that, we would have this thing licked maybe in time for school, or at least in time for a full football season.

Sue Hallowell:
Well, we maybe have the opportunity at some point, but it seems like we’re a little behind the eight ball now. We really need to get started in really thinking through how are we going to set up boundaries and rules so that we are going to be able to get back to the life that we all want to have?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, we can at least endorse the concrete steps of wear a mask, keep social distance and wash your hands. Sometimes I think we mental health professionals, ambivalent and obfuscate and ambigu-wise. So at least we can be very straightforward about this, wear a mask, wash your hands and keep social distance. That’s not that hard to do. It’s not that hard to do.

Sue Hallowell:
And within the context of a couple, really try to understand your partner. Don’t dismiss their feelings. Don’t get angry at them. Try to look at risk benefit analysis. Really understand your values. Be patient, compromise, and try to find a solution that works for everybody.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
All the ways that you are with me every day.

Sue Hallowell:
Yeah. In my best self anyway.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You are pretty much like that. You really are. You’re far more tolerant than I am. I’m the reactive one, the judgmental one. I don’t model what your advice is. I try, but you succeed better than I do. That’s one of the many reasons I love you Sue.

Sue Hallowell:
I love you too.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
All right. Well, thank you. Will you come back another time?

Sue Hallowell:
I certainly will if you’ll ask me.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I would love to have you as a regular guest, as long as you’d allow me to introduce you fully each time.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay. Well, that’s all we have time for today. Remember to please reach out to us with your questions, comments, and show ideas. Write in and say how much you liked having Sue as a guest, and we’ll have her all the time. Write an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected] That’s [email protected] We really, really rely on your questions and comments and show ideas. We, from time to time devote an entire show to just answering your questions. So please, we take them very seriously. Just take a moment and a voice memo or an email to [email protected]

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the brilliantly talented, Sarah Guertin, and our recording engineer and editor is the multi-talented and an absolutely impeccable, Scott Persson. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell, your host. Thank you so much for listening. Stay safe out there. Bye-bye.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The episode you just heard was sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

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